Thursday, February 24, 2005

"Get Out of the Way" awards part II

Well we seem to be in the phase of any crisis were frustration is taking over. Watch carefully how world media and the agenda-driven organizations of the world spin this crisis for their own benefit. Freedom of the press is one of the most precious gifts of a democratic society. Having said this, some of those in the media claiming to be Nepal "experts" use that gift in, often, blatently manipulative ways.

GET OUT OF THE WAY:

India: Stop pouting by refusing to invite Pakistan and Nepal "Mayors" to your little conference. You are still fuming at the King's move like spoiled children. Remember last year when you invited Sher Bahadur Deuba and the head of the Royal Nepal Army to India for a little meeting, without even giving the King of Nepal adequate notice? What was that gesture supposed to do? So, who snubbed whom first? And what about this absolute refusal to allow any third-party mediation in this current situation? Sounds like the height of arrogance. Who are you to refuse anything? The U.S. has asked you, repeatedly, to take the lead in this crisis; if you're not prepared to do so: GET OUT OF THE WAY.


The Telegraph: (Indian newspaper) The wonderfully typical Indian method of manipulating the facts has given way to full frontal fabrication. Today's telegraph, none to subtly, implied that the U.S. has suspended arms sales along with India and the U.K. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/02/24/wmao24.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/02/24/ixworld.html
Not a chance, Telegraph.

The International Crisis Group (ICG): Here we go. Blogdai has seen, and has direct confrontations with groups like this in the past. They locate in an official sounding city like Brussels, apply some obscure name to themselves, and begin to spit venom. The Heritage Foundation writes like this, so does an outfit called STRATFOR out of Texas. These groups stock themselves with "analysts" and the lazy media eat up their wild predictions. They are designed to generate attention and further their specific agendas. Here's a fairly good article about the ICG. blogdai says "fairly" because it is on a somewhat controversial website. The ideas are sound, however: http://www.antiwar.com/blog/comments.php?id=P651_0_1_0_C


Some blogdai mnemonics:

In an effort to be more trendy and fit in with the blogger community, we will start our own collection of mnemonics and acronyms. We will try to avoid the old cliche's like LOL and the little smiley faces made with semicolons ;) So, here we go: suggestions for additions to this list are always incouraged and usually acted upon.

GOTW: Get Out of the Way. (See above) Generally, something deemed a nuisance or counter productive to the discussion should get a GOTW. Disagreeing with blogdai seldom earns this. Blatent advertising or unrelated stuff just might, however.

RYLOP: Raise Your Level of Play. It is more of an admonishment than a scold. blogdai joked (poorly) about being forced to attend CIA parties (not true) to which one poster cried: Aha! so blogdai is with the CIA! Sorry pal, RYLOP.

DBN: Drive-By-Nepali: Generally a young, frustrated person who gets on the internet, say, somewhere in Kathmandu, stumbles across nepalnow.blogspot.com, leaves an angry comment, and then doesn't stick around for the subsequent debate. While they are frustrating, blogdai feels these type of comments are necessary as a guage.

-=blogdai

10 Comments:

At 8:01 AM, February 25, 2005, Blogger El Diablo said...

Blogdai,

Those are cool acronyms that you've come up with; especially DBN....they do come by and "shoot out" their mouths and ride away into the sunset out yonder.

Here's an interesting read that delves into the hypocrisy of these so-called "donor community" in Nepal.

Foreign affairs: The flight of the ostriches

BY SHASHI P. B. B. MALLA

The New Collins Dictionary defines an ostrich as “a fast-running flightless African bird that is the largest living bird with stout two-toed feet and dark feathers, except on the naked head, neck, and legs.” Figuratively, ‘ostrich’ also means “a person
who refuses to recognize the truth, reality, etc.”

We have now had the startling phenomenon of ambassadors of various countries being recalled to their native shores for ‘consultations’. If it was only an isolated case, like that of our close neighbour India, which actually started the stampede, it would not have been much cause for worry, not only for us, but also for other regional and international players. But since the distinguished excellencies of the USA, UK, India, Germany, France, Norway, Denmark and the European Union participated in the flight of the ostriches, we must examine this mass exodus from various angles and in the light of divergent perceptions.

In diplomatic parlance and tradition, the recall of the ambassadors was clearly meant to embarrass the King and to send a clear message of disapproval for his necessary and inevitable steps to restore good governance and to secure peace and security. It is astounding that normally astute diplomats and responsible foreign governments have thrown caution to the winds and have acted in such a callous and ill-considered manner. We really have to ponder the state of the intellectual prowess of their local representatives and their concerned home government officials, as well as, the various power equations in force.

It is, of course, clear that these recalled ambassadors have failed in various ways. First, they have not been able to follow the march of events in our country and to interpret them in a lucid manner. Second, they have been (snow) blinded by the vociferous ‘champions of democracy’, who independent-thinking Nepalese know were merely paying lip service to the concept and were, in fact, utterly corrupt and themselves crypto-dictators, Maoist sympathizers and beholden to foreign powers. Third, they seem to have had a black-out with regard to human rights violations – tacitly and openly castigating the Royal Nepalese Army, while not condemning and taking cognizance of the atrocities of the terrorizing Maoists in a proper way. These diplomats failed then to send realistic signals to their home countries.

The problem was actually a double failure, because these home countries that recalled their ambassadors were also incapable of interpreting events and situations with a rational approach. One would have expected and hoped that their foreign ministries, left in the lurch by their local emissaries, and if themselves deficient in analytical processes, would have access to myriad ‘think tanks’ and research institutes staffed by brilliant experts. Various countries and organizations have also been sending flying special envoys to access the situation from time to time. Instead, these countries have resorted to bullying a hapless country, fighting a murderous conflict not of its own choosing, and trying to master an unprecedented domestic crisis of Himalayan proportions. Nepal has now been threatened with the cessation of military and development aid. Denmark has already taken the dastardly first step. A sorry state of affairs indeed.

Do we then allow ourselves to be intimidated by ‘the flight of the ostriches’? Do we now bury our heads in the sand? If we are to survive as a united people and a vibrant nation, we have to whole-heartedly support the ‘historic mission’ of our Desh Naresh. There can no longer be any ‘ifs and buts’. Hand in hand, there has to be intimate soul-searching and a dispassionate analysis of our domestic travails and the international climate. We must not allow an end-game psychosis. We do have many efficacious options.

In the domestic arena, we have to mobilize the forces of reason and nationalism in a double-pronged war of attrition: first, against the Maoist evil and second, against the detractors of genuine democracy – the Quislings, the Fifth Columnists and Anti-Nationalists—all in the pay of foreign powers. We have to strengthen local bodies and encourage political participation at the grass-roots. And political devolution must be the cornerstone of our development policy.

We have to abandon our sheepish attitude in foreign affairs and not be afraid of candid analysis. If we are strong internally, we can easily adopt a foreign policy of ‘flexible response’ and identify our real friends and pseudo-friends posing as being very concerned, in the region, as well as, in the world. Thus the ‘Wall of Intimidation’ will crumble as surely as the Berlin Wall, because might is not right!

 
At 2:55 PM, February 25, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

could the so called blog"dai", have contributed this to the nepali times?

• Saubhagya Shah’s guest column (‘At the helm’, #235) is a powerful antidote to textbook democrats in India, America and elsewhere who keep on harping the democracy tune without taking contemporary Nepali reality into account. The critics of the king’s move ought to realise that February First was not only desired but required to clean up the mess that Nepal is in. The sheer hypocrisy and double standard of the west in promoting democracy and showing their concerns over regimes based on their own strategic and other interests is a well known and established among observers of international politics. They need to realise that sometimes their version of democracy is not a good fix for local problems, and third world countries should be left alone to act in their countries’ best interests. I couldn’t agree more with Saubhagya Shah: thank you west and the, but let us solve our problems ourselves now.

Name withheld,
email

 
At 3:43 AM, February 27, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No comment on the other GOTW's but the ICG reorts are decent in my opinion. Sure, their board is stocked full of luminaries of reformist liberal thinking and they are a voice not of the most radical but liberal international players. But what is so wrong with that. At least they are decent 'experts' compared to others. That's how they designed their organization, to fill this niche.

 
At 12:22 PM, February 27, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

No one disputes the ICG's right to publish ideas, but groups like these often mask a higher strategy.

They often advocate strong left or right wing positions that use language that is simple enough to catch the media's eye and sway public opinion. Nothing wrong with that either, but their "experts" are either spokespeople for a certain wing of a government or they are single issue journalists trolling the public opinion waters looking for mass anger and mass appeal.

The point is, groups like the ICG never intend to inform you about the issues at hand.

It is tribalism, pure and simple. They know that the ill-informed of the world would rather not take the time to research an issue thoroughly; they would rather have their emotions stirred in a simple fashion. Emotional people write checks faster, and in larger numbers than those who calmly weigh all the facts of an issue.

The ICG is drumming up support for the ICG and no one else. Their stuff is designed to inflame and polarize.

-=blogdai

 
At 6:47 AM, March 02, 2005, Blogger El Diablo said...

Here's an example of the Indian version of the "freedom of the press"!


Indian MEA Attacks South Asia Tribune:
It's Scandalous Harassment, says Editor
Special SAT Report

WASHINGTON, February 28:

The Indian Government, in an official statement issued in New Delhi on Monday,accused the South Asia Tribune of publishing "absolutely fictitious" reports about Indian policies on a variety of issues but the South Asia Tribune condemned the Indian move saying it was uncalled for harassment and scandalous intimidation

"It has been noted that a person filing as Arun Rajnath for the South-Asia Tribune has been using quotations and attributing them to the foreign secretary, official spokesman, MEA (ministry of external affairs) officials, etc," Ministry Spokesman Navtej Sarna said in a statement. It was for the first time that the Indian Ministry had officially attacked the South Asia Tribune for publishing reports from New Delhi. On February 24, the SAT correspondent in New Delhi, Arun Kumar Rajnath, was "summoned" to the Ministry of External Affairs and two senior officials, including the Spokesman Navtej Sarna, practically gave him a dressing down invoking the infamous "national interest" argument.

"It was pure and simple harassment. Mr. Sarna told him that his stories in SAT were being picked up by Pakistani and Bangladeshi newspapers.

He was told:

“The subject of Nepal is very sensitive. We all work in the national interest in different capacities. Your newspaper is web based that is why it is in the easy reach of everyone. Whatever quotes and information you give in your stories, are used by others which is
not in the (Indian) national interest.”

“He was also told that if he insisted on writing such stories, “you should show them to me first or to Under Secretary Vipul, because this is a matter of national security.” He was threatened that if he continued writing, “we will first write to your Editor with our denial, and if you still continue, we will write to the Indian Embassy in the US and they would take care of everything.” If this is not intimidation, what else would be?

“He was the first journalist to report that India had suspended all military assistance to Nepal after the King of Nepal took over powers in January, 2005.

This report was published in the SAT on February 6, 2005 after Mr. Rajnath talked on the phone to the Indian Foreign Secretary. His report was confirmed by the MEA three weeks later. “In addition to many other stories and analyses which Mr. Rajnath wrote, his best work was before the elections last year when he consistently predicted that the Vajpayee Government would face a defeat. He was probably one of the few Indian journalists making that prediction.”

 
At 2:22 PM, March 02, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

El, great stuff. Can you give links to this reporting?

The phrase that most sticks in blogdai's mind is "..not in the (Indian)national interest. That fairly well explains it all. India is an ally of India, plain and simple. When India feels threatened, all bets are off-including freedom of the press democracy.

This is the height of hypocracy. How dare India scream and demand Nepal's return to democracy when this is a blatent and governmental attempt to stifle their own free press?

Perhaps it was not the loss of the democratic aspects of Nepal's former government that makes India so upset; rather, it's the loss of the chaotic and dependent satellite state that was maintained under the guise of democracy.

-=blogdai

 
At 5:40 AM, March 03, 2005, Blogger El Diablo said...

Blogdai,

Here is the link for the story.
South Asia Tribune is an interesting web newsoutlet coming out of D.C.


http://www.satribune.com/archives/200502/P1_mea.htm

 
At 4:38 PM, March 03, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Thanks El,

Corrections to previous post:

"freedom of the press AND democracy.

"Hypocricy" not "hipocracy"

blogdai posted prior to proofreading.

(Ha! a new mnemonic: PPP = Posted Prior to Proofreading. Giving the poster the benefit of the doubt for poor punctuation and spelling. )

 
At 5:36 PM, March 03, 2005, Blogger El Diablo said...

BD,

Don't wanna look like a nitpick
(BB=BallBuster) but isn't it hypocrisy and not hypocricy.

:) in jest.

 
At 5:12 AM, March 04, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

blogdai stands corrected once again. The word "hypocrisy" is hereby banned -in any spelling- from this site. ha! -=blogdai

 

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